Virac, 4 other towns improve in 2019 competitiveness ranking

The capital town of Virac and four other towns made significant improvements in the 2019 Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index released recently, with Bato ranking in the top 10 among 5th to 6th class towns in the country.

From its 231st ranking in 2018, Virac climbed to 132nd among first class towns with total points of 37.2081. It was ranked second among Bicol’s first-class municipalities, just behind Polangui, Albay, which was at 82nd with 38.4734 points.

Based on the assessment of the capital town’s 2019 performance, it ranked 73rd in Economic Development, 243rd in Government Efficiency, 83rd in Infrastructure Development, and 307th in Resiliency.

Among 3rd to 6th class municipalities in Catanduanes, the towns of San Andres, Bagamanoc, Panganiban and Viga advanced in the annual competitiveness rankings.

From 626th in 2018, San Andres LGU moved up to 364th with 36.0114 points while San Miguel matched this effort by going up to 637th with 31.7491 points.

Bagamanoc was ranked 714th (29.7709 points), slightly better than its 735th place in 2018 while Panganiban edged two places to 741st (28.9545) from its 743rd ranking a year earlier.

The island’s rice granary, Viga, ranked 833rd (21.9512), significantly better than its 866th position in 2018.

The other towns’ competitiveness dropped in 2019, led by Bato which fell a hundred sportsfrom its lofty 2018 ranking of 32nd to 132nd in 2019.

However, it was lauded by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) regional office for placing 6th overall among 5th to 6th class municipalities in the Philippines, and for placing 4th in Infrastructure Development in the same category.

The province’s only inland town, San Miguel, fell from 485th in 2018 to just 637th in 2019 with 31.7491 points.

On the other hand, from its 689th ranking a year earlier, Caramoran’s ranking sank to 757th with 28.1011 points.

Pandan’s situation was direst, plummeting over 300 spots from its former 571st rank in 2018 to an island-worst 876th (4.9793) in 2019, beating even Gigmoto which was better-placed at 808th (21.9512)

Baras, which along with Gigmoto was not assessed in 2019, was at 637th with 31.6954 points.

With its scores based on its towns’ performance, Catanduanes placed last among the six Bicol provinces with 32.2370 points. Sorsogon was on top with 70.3073, followed by Masbate with 61.9109, Albay with 38.6022, Camarines Sur with 37.2044, and Camarines Norte with 33.2059.

Aside from Bato town, the other Bicol national awardees in the 2020 Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index (CMCI) Summit last Dec. 16, 2020 were Albay – 7th Most Competitive Province; Camarines Sur – 16th Most Competitive Province; Legazpi City – 2nd Over-all Most Competitive Component City, 1st Place in Economic Dynamism, 1st Place in Infrastructure Development, 6th Place in Government Efficiency, 11th Place in Resiliency; Ligao City – 2nd Most Improved Component City; Tabaco  City – 15th Most Improved Component City; Masbate City – 10th Most Improved Component City; and, Naga City – 4th Over-all Most Competitive Component City.

The CMCI is an annual ranking of Philippine cities and municipalities developed by the National Competitiveness Council through the Regional Competitiveness Committees (RCCs) with the assistance of the United States Agency for International Development.

Local government units in the country are ranked based on the four convergent pillars, namely, Economic Dynamism, Government Efficiency, Infrastructure, and Resilience.

Economic Dynamism is usually associated with activities that create stable expansion of business and industries and higher employment, and is the concrete representation of productivity as it matches the output of the local economy with local resources.

In this pillar, the LGU is graded according to the Size of the Local Economy (as measured through business registrations, capital, revenue, and permits), Growth of the Local Economy (as measured through business registrations, capital, revenue, and permits), Capacity to Generate Employment, Cost of Living, Cost of Doing Business, Financial Deepening, Productivity, and Presence of Business and Professional Organizations.

Government Efficiency refers to the quality and reliability of government services and government support for effective and sustainable productive expansion. Ten indicators are assessed: Capacity of Health Services, Capacity of Schools, Security, Business Registration Efficiency, Compliance to BPLS standards, Presence of Investment Promotions Unit, Compliance to National Directives for LGUs, Ratio of LGU collected tax to LGU revenues, Most Competitive LGU awardee, and Social Protection. Two more indicators were recently added: Transparency score and Economic Governance score.

Infrastructure refers to the physical building blocks that connect, expand, and sustain a locality and its surroundings to enable the provision of goods and services. It is divided into ten indicators: Existing Road Network, Distance from City/Municipality Center to Major Ports, DOT-Accredited Accommodations, Availability of Basic Utilities, Annual Investments in Infrastructure, Connection of ICT, Number of Public Transportation Vehicles, Health Infrastructure, Education Infrastructure, and Number of ATMs.

Resiliency is the capacity of a locality to facilitate businesses and industries to create jobs, raise productivity, and increase the incomes of citizens over time despite of the shocks and stresses it encounters. The assessment looks into the LGU’s Land Use Plan, Disaster Risk Reduction Plan, Annual Disaster Drill, Early Warning System, Budget for DRRMP, Local Risk Assessments, Emergency Infrastructure, Utilities, Employed Population, and Sanitary System.

Provincial rankings are based on population and income weighted average of the overall scores of cities and municipalities under a province.

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